Buddhist Perspectives- Human nature and condition
- Not emphasis on the person having an individual value that is found in western traditions.
- The more attached we are to the self the more gratification we seek
- Idea of not self doesn't mean that each of our personal histories or characters is denied
- linked by factors that are universal to all
- Way to liberation is to abstain from killing, stealing, misconduct of senses, false speech and drinking intoxicating substances
- All sentient beings in the cycle of birth and rebirth
- Noble 8 fold path, a person can become noble by following this, right to resolve, right action, right livelihood
- Holy life is lived for the final goal.
Freewill and Fatalism
- Human lives are speacial because they have the possibility of reaching enlightenment. (breaking out of the cycle of birth and re-birth, and becoming at one with the universe.
- Because the have the ability to make free choices and have the capacity of understanding
- Central to the law of karma, because intentions and actions choose how we have a causal link to the next life.
- Can make spiritual and moral progress
- Free to choose how they act, they have responsibilty for their actions.
- Change is always possible if a person chooses to go after it.
Equality and Difference
- Idea of equality for all human beings
- All human beings can seek enlightenment and bring about good and bad karma
- Treatment of other people should be impartial
- Buddha rejected the idea that you could be born into a caste, human race = one species
- Equality for gender is not all the same
- Women can't become a full Buddha, must be reincarnated into a man first - spiratual glass ceiling
- Disability may be thought of as a consequence of a past action (western people see this as outrageous)
- Important 2 remember, all life of human beings is a consequence of karma, seek to escape suffering of this life.
Value of Human Life
- Value = more instrumental
- Probability of reaching enlightenment lends value to human nature
- Human life is more precious than anything else in the world
- Killing = bad
- In not killing a Buddhist becomes more sensitive to the needs and feelings of all sentient beings.
"Laying aside violence in respect of all beings, both those which are still and those which move.. he should not kill a living creature, nor cause to kill, nor approve of others killing" - Harvey 2006, pg 69
"Following the ethics of the Noble 8 fold path is principally about reaching the final goal"- Harvey 2000 p41
"If one should decide to kill a sentient being while knowing full well that the being is a sentient being, then one will create a karma of the bad"
"Buddhism...is generally gradualist in approach, so while it has ethical norms which all should follow from a sense of sympathy with fellow beings, others only apply to those who are ready for them" - Harvey 200 p51
"I teach that suffering, its origin, cessation + path, that's all I teach" - Buddha